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In My Humble Opinion...

1 Comment · Tuesday, February 15, 2011
What the heck are theater critics good for? Few of us are actually curmudgeons who revel in badmouthing actors and shows. Most I know are theater fans. I typically attend a show full of optimism, expecting to be entertained. I love it when something unexpected happens and I only write negatively when I feel a production has failed to live up to its promise. I’m especially thrilled by fresh interpretations or revelatory performances.  

Fun? I'll Second That

0 Comments · Tuesday, November 9, 2010
If I say "Second City," you say "Chicago?" Maybe. But I bet "comedy club" comes in a close "second." The Windy City’s legendary improv club is now exporting city-specific shows around the country, including one right here for Cincinnati audiences at Playhouse in the Park for the holidays.  

David Gallo: Master of Alternative Universes

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 15, 2010
David Gallo, 44, is everywhere, from 'Yo Gabba Gabba Live' and 'Spongebob Squarepants' to Broadway musicals in the U.S. and around the world. His realistic designs for several August Wilson plays earned Tony nominations, and his whimsical set for 'The Drowsy Chaperone' was a 2006 Tony winner. So what brings him to Cincinnati? "The Playhouse in the Park is unquestionably my favorite regional theater," Gallo says.  

Springing Forward With the Stars

0 Comments · Monday, March 15, 2010
As Daylight Savings Time arrived last Sunday, local theaters began to turn the spotlight to their 2010-11 seasons. News is seeping out regarding what we'll see in the year ahead, and I want to share some newsworthy details about the Cincinnati Playhouse, Broadway Across America and Cincinnati Shakespeare Co.  

Daddy Long Legs (Review)

Playhouse musical is expressive, impressive world premiere

0 Comments · Monday, March 22, 2010
Nearly a century has elapsed since Jean Webster's 1912 novel 'Daddy Long Legs' was published. Now her story of a talented, forthright foundling named Jerusha and her mysterious, reclusive mentor returns, this time onstage in an expressive, impressive world premiere musical at the Cincinnati Playhouse from playwright-director John Caird (who won a Tony for his Broadway work on 'Les Miserables') and composer-lyricist Paul Gordon (whose 'Emma' won audience approval at the Playhouse last season).  

How? How? Why? Why? Why? (Review)

NPR's Kevin Kling was born to spin tales

0 Comments · Monday, February 22, 2010
If God really did create people so he'd have an endless supply of stories — to quote a line from the likable 'How? How? Why? Why? Why?' now at the Playhouse — then the heavens must be smiling down on Kevin Kling. The playwright/performer well known to fans of National Public Radio seems to have been born, raised and divinely ordained to spin a tale.  

Sanders Family Christmas (Review)

Familiar Playhouse holiday show is still smokin'

0 Comments · Monday, November 23, 2009
Sometimes those with the least to offer bestow the greatest gifts. Ask O. Henry or Charlie Brown — or Jesus himself (born in a barn). No wonder the best performance in 'Sanders Family Christmas' comes from the one character who supposedly has no talent for music: June (Tess Hartman), the plain, non-singing daughter of the Sanders clan, who were celebrity guests on Christmas Eve 1941 at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.  

Victoria Musica (Review)

Playhouse world premiere delves into the mysteries of motivation

0 Comments · Monday, October 5, 2009
How can people with the best of intentions do things that eventually turn out to be wrong, or at least misguided? Such matters are the foundation of Michele Lowe's 'Victoria Musica,' in its world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse.  

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Review)

A creepy, well-told tale with twists and turns

0 Comments · Friday, April 24, 2009
Even if you know the story of 'Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,' Robert Louis Stevenson's classic 1886 horror story, you'll likely be surprised by the Cincinnati Playhouse's version, since it twists and turns the tale in unanticipated directions. Jeffrey Hatcher adapted the story, and this version provides unexpected textures and narrative elements.  

Marry Me a Little (Review)

A distillation of Sondheim themes for all musical theater lovers

0 Comments · Friday, May 15, 2009
The Cincinnati Playhouse has offered a steady diet of musicals by Stephen Sondheim over the past decade. If you've seen them, you might think you're familiar with music by the legendary composer/lyricist. I have news for you: The current Shelterhouse production, 'Marry Me a Little,' will feel like a new show, full of songs that are clearly Sondheim's but seldom heard. It's a show for Sondheim fans and musical theater lovers.  

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